Last week saw us holidaying in Portugal in my role as a digital ambassador for Jet2.com and Jet2holidays, staying at Pine Cliffs Resort in the Algarve, the most luxurious and naturally pristine resort imaginable.
The day after we returned home, I looked around at our freshly painted house (I’d booked the painters in whilst we were away) and decided I wanted the house to look more hotel-like thank you very much, and that meant an EPIC spring clean!
The process took a whopping 7 hours, yep 7, because once I’d started I couldn’t stop and I managed to sort and clean every room in the house, only leaving the garage untouched because that place needs a week to sort, not a day!
I’ll be honest, our house is pretty organised for the most part thanks to me being a bit of a clean freak (although for sanity’s sake I’ve let those standards slip a little since having kids), we do have a regular cleaner and I fork out for a deep clean annually but we’d accumulated things we no longer use or need, and the kids had grown out of lots of clothes I needed to sort through (and all those odd socks).
I was determined to get rid of UK size 8 dresses in my wardrobe too that I’d last worn 7 years whole years ago, pre-kids that were frankly never going to fit me again! Accepting this fact (finally) and packing them up for charity felt good.
The sort-out in total made for 2 car loads full of clothes, books and even kitchen equipment for the charity shops near us and a car load of items for the recycling dump. Wow.
My husband and kids offered to help me clean but I wanted to crack on solo (mostly because I needed to get rid of lots of their things (sorry guys) and didn’t need arguments over every single item I was sorting, so keeping them out of the way was the best policy). Peter did do the charity and recycling drop-offs though and vacuumed and mopped once the sorting was complete.
We share the jobs in the house equally as it should be, but when it comes to spring cleaning, I like to be left on my own. I’m a woman on a mission that can’t cope with other people or distractions when I’m sorting.
Now, as it’s Bank Holiday Monday in the UK, I thought I’d share some spring cleaning tips I picked up from my sort day. Yes today might mean fun in the sun and for many (it’s almost out here in Leeds), but for others, it might prove the perfect time to pick up the duster and get sorting your home out. It can save money as you discover items you didn’t know you had and it felt like a huge weight off my shoulders once everything was complete.
I hope my tips help!
Happy cleaning people (there’s a sentence I never thought I’d write)!
Do a small cleaning haul before you begin
It doesn’t have to be a huge haul but stock up on cleaning items from the sponges you’ll use to bleach, polish, wax, and enough fairy liquid from the off will make for the easiest and quickest clean. I’d forgotten oven cleaner before I started so had to nip out as the oven was in dire need of a clean so be prepared and stock up.
Buy black and white bin bags
Having two different coloured bin bags means you can easily sort which items will be going to charity and which will be going to the dump/recycling as you go. When donating to charity, please be considerate and only give items that others would want to buy, so always undamaged pieces/products that are in good nick.
Have a practice clean
If you’re using a rented carpet cleaner, practice on a small hidden area first to make sure the colours don’t run and you can use the cleaner etc. When you do the carpet clean or any clean for that matter don’t forget to open all the windows to help the areas dry more quickly.
Finish one room at a time
It can be easy to flit from room to room, leaving things unfinished on each one so commit to completing a room at a time. I started in the kitchen, taking all the food and ingredients out of the cupboards and fridge, wiping down and then sorting so everything was in order, before moving to the playroom and lounge etc. Sorting out food cupboards saves money too as does the entire spring clean. I found items I didn’t know we had (some were multiple buys) and the same applied for dresses at the back of my cupboard and sets of tees I’d bought for the boys that were hiding in the back of their wardrobes.
I started in the kitchen, taking all the food and ingredients out of the cupboards and fridge, wiping them down (and the items) and sorting everything in order (dry goods on one shelf, unopened condiments and oils on another etc) before moving to the playroom and lounge etc.
Sorting out food cupboards saves money too as does the entire spring clean. I found items I didn’t know we had (some were multiple buys) and the same applied for dresses at the back of my wardrobe and sets of tees I’d bought for the boys that were hiding in one of their drawers.
I know it’s hard but if you haven’t worn something for at least a year (and it’s not occasionwear) you need to ask yourself whether you will again and be honest about it. I had dresses I’d not worn pre-kids that I’d kidded myself I’d fit into again one day. Tiny, fitted numbers with zips that would never work on my body again. I had a strong word with myself and packed them into a charity bag for a slimmer person to enjoy and it felt good. Letting go is a wonderful feeling, you’re removing items which make you feel bad about yourself whenever you open your wardrobes and removing them leaves more room for the clothes that fit and new ones (yay)!
I hope these tips have helped.
Please leave your own in the comments!